It’s Midsummer of your second year. Another solstice has come, and I have still not done a blessing ceremony for you. Life keeps getting in the way, I suppose. First health issues, then a cross-country move, now house problems. Despite my best efforts, holidays have fallen by the wayside a bit for us. Perhaps we will welcome the universe together when the time is right. This evening, instead of a formal ceremony, I said a little prayer for you, kissed you on the forehead, and thanked you for the last two and a half years. Perhaps that is enough. Perhaps you are here to remind me that all the fussiness and formality really doesn’t matter.
I want to tell you about yourself right now, in case you do not remember when you are older. You are my fierce, fearless little girl, and you are taking two by storm these days. You begin each day with laughter, and chase ferociously after joy until we tuck you into bed each night. Everything is incredibly fun for you. You refer to everyone you meet as your “new friend”. You love to snuggle and hold hands and sit in my lap, and yet you have a stubborn independence that will occasionally bring you to tears when you can’t do things all by yourself.
You love to help around the house. You gather eggs from the chicken coop and feed the dogs each day. You love helping Aaron make pancakes on the weekends, or baking chocolate chips cookies with me during the week. (Your job is always to pour in the chocolate chips and to taste the dough.) You are wickedly funny without even realizing it; you told me the other day that you have to gather eggs from the chickens because “Mama is too old”. You play pretend and make up jokes all day long and I have to admit, though it may be my own unrefined sense of humor, you always keep me laughing. Your best friends in the world are Ella and Noah next door, and you love visiting all of the neighbors. You spend your days “helping me” in the yard or the community gardens, digging holes in the dirt and stacking rocks into your collection. You love art and reading, and we spend hours each day coloring on paper or with sidewalk chalk and reading your picture books.
You are obsessed with dinosaurs. Two of your favorite books are all about different dinosaurs and paleontology. Your favorite cartoon is “Dinosaur Train”, followed closely by “Word Girl”. Your favorite movie is “Brother Bear”. You like listening to Captain Bog & Salty and to Jimmy Buffet. Your two favorite lullabies are “I Go Like The Raven” and “A Pirate Looks at 40” (which you call “the pirate song”).
We just started doing toddler swim lessons this week which you seem to really like, despite often getting pretty cold in the pool. The first day you were in the water, jumping into my arms from the edge of the pool, blowing bubbles, and trying to stand on kickboards before the lesson even began. Yesterday, when they suggested we take all the kids down the water slide, you ran to it begging to go down. You are so brave, and the world is such a wonderful fun place for you.
Like everyone, I suppose, I worry that I am not doing enough with you or for you. Should we spend more time trying to write letters? Are you able to count past 20? Am I working too much? Should we do more “storytimes” or “play dates”? But you approach life with a wonderful casual zeal. You are passionate about everything, and you enjoy everything. Most importantly, while you are happy in a tidy structured activity, you are equally happy just running around, crayons strewn everywhere, rocks and dirt and plastic ponies and dinosaurs in your wake. Maybe you are here to remind me that it’s not always going to be perfect. That some days, time spent picking dandelion bouquets trumps bids for website optimization or blog posts. Sometimes, it’s okay to not have a plan, because you might decide to go to the park instead, or take a nap, or make art. This is why it feels okay that the only ceremony I have had for you has been a hasty prayer, a kiss, and a quick reminder that I will always be there for you, no matter what.
And I will, too.
I love you, little one,